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Randy Weston: Earth Birth

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During his 40-something years as a musician, pianist Weston has incorporated various influences in his playing-primarily elements of African music he studied and later acquired during his lengthy stay in Tangier, where he ran the Africans Rhythm Club for five years about 30 years ago. He also came under the sway of Thelonious Monk or, as he told Len Lyons (in his 1983 book, The Great Pianists), “Monk entered my soul.”

Much of that is ever present in his playing; however, the African sources are less evident on this collection of his compositions recorded with bassist Christian McBride, drummer Billy Higgins and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at the 1995 Montreal Jazz Festival. In the liner notes Weston says, “The overall concept of the CD is love, romance and the beauty of life. It’s something to slow you down, make you appreciate the finer things of life.”

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